Fresh, Fall Flavors: Pumpkin Pie Spice

As the fall crisp breeze creeps in after a sweltering summer, people suddenly become obsessed with pumpkin everything. For most, the Pumpkin Spice Lattes steal the show, but companies have begun infusing this flavor into everything from candles, Oreo cookies and even Pringles. Though I wouldn’t consider myself a fanatic, I love the smell of fall coming from my oven right around now.

Heading back to Syracuse for Homecoming weekend, I decided to bake Joy the Baker’s Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts for my hosts while visiting. I wanted a recipe that hinted at the cooler weather but would also travel well since I was flying. This recipe included many of my pantry items and after buying a can of pumpkin puree (I did not have the time — or the commitment — to make it fresh!) and some walnuts from the store, I was set.

Not normally a baker, I loved the ease of the recipe. After about 15 minutes, the bread was in the oven cooking. The hardest part was creating a pumpkin pie spice which I have included below. This blend would be great even as a rub on chicken or on apple chips, like my roommate used it for!

Though the recipe called for a sprinkling of walnuts on the top, I mixed them into the batter as well for some extra crunch. I also think pecans would work well or toasted pumpkin seeds.

As I settled in with my boyfriend last night and watched the Thursday Night Football game with his family we tasted the bread with some butter. Not overpowering in fall flavor, the pumpkin puree kept the bread moist and the walnuts added a nutty hint the the sweet treat. Whether you are eating it as a late night snack like we did, or with your morning coffee for breakfast, this recipe captures the essence of fall in every bite.

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE BLEND

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon 

1 tbsp. ground ginger 

1.5 tsp. nutmeg 

1.5 tsp. ground cloves 

* could add 1.5 tsp. all-spice instead of cloves

1. Combine all ingredients and bowl. Stir so evenly distributed.

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